By Austin Ajayi, Yola
As part of effort to stem the spread of the Coronavirus in Adamawa state, Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has signed a Health Protection (Coronavirus) Restriction Adamawa State Regulations 2020 Order.
The signing of the order gives him the power to prohibit movements of unauthorized persons and the order has stipulated a penalty of six months prison term or a fifty thousand naira fine or both for offenders.
This Order gives legal backing to law enforcement officers to use “Reasonable Force” on offenders and who under the order might be treated as infected persons attempting to expose the public to the disease.
In a press statement issued by the press secretary to the governor, Humwashi Wonosikau, and Made available to Newsmen, yola, states that “Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has signed an Executive Order giving legal backing to the measures taken to contain the spread of Covid-19 throughout the State.
“known as the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Restriction Adamawa State Regulations 2020 Order, it came into force by midnight of Tuesday, 31st March 2020.
“The Restriction Order prohibits a person from leaving His abode without reasonable excuse except to obtain basic necessities such as food, drugs and water within its two-week lifespan.
“Others are seeking medical assistance, providing care and assistance to a vulnerable person, donating blood or for the purpose of work, which are all classified as essential service.”
The statement added that, the list of reasonable excuses set out in the Restriction Order is non exhaustive.
“Government expects citizens to exercise caution when considering any undertaking outside those exceptions specifically allowed, as they may have to justify that to the police or other law enforcement agencies and the courts.
“Under the Regulation, the police or law enforcement officers may use reasonable force if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a person is, or may be infected or contaminated with the Coronavirus and there is a risk that the person might infect others.”
Explaining the purpose of the bill the statement reads, “The main purpose of the Order is for protection of citizens and the furtherance of public safety which is the fulcrum of any responsible Government.
“It is an offence under the Restriction Order for a person to provide false or misleading information, or to obstruct any person lawfully enforcing its provisions, without reasonable excuse.
Noting that ” any person who fails to comply with the provisions is liable on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding Fifty Thousand Naira (N50,000.00) six months’ imprisonment or both.
The order however grants the governor the power to extend the enforcement of the regulations indefinitely.